If a lion could speak we could not understand it – Wittgenstein. Vicki Hearne witnessed what she called a conversation with chimpanzees. She said that to find out if someone could talk you should try and chat with them. If they made sense they were talking. I may not make sense because I am ignorant or stupid – or flippant, thoughtless, banal. Rush Rhees remarked that if the lion could not speak it was because it had nothing to say. Some people talk a lot yet have nothing to say. They are like St Paul's noisy gong or clanging cymbal. We are all like this sometimes. Talking – making sense – demands rising to the occasion, overcoming egotism, laziness, fear, prejudice. It is something to work at. Peter Winch called it 'trying to make sense'. Here at The Speaking Lions we are trying to make sense. Perhaps we will fail. If we have some success there is no guarantee we will not lapse back into nonsense. Perhaps you will point out when we do, and help us to make sense again.
Signup for email updates from this Contributor help